The Sarah Jane Adventures Episodes 6 & 7:
Warriors Of Kudlak

Plot

Lance, a classmate of Maria, Luke and Clyde's, goes missing following a visit to Combat 3000, a popular new laser tag facility. Investigating, Sarah Jane discovers that there have in fact been a number of disappearances associated with Combat 3000 locations across the country. The abductor is the alien General Kudlak, who is using the game arena to identify young people with the greatest aptitude for becoming warriors. Unbeknownst to Sarah Jane, Luke and Clyde decide to participate in Combat 3000 -- and soon become Kudlak's latest targets.

Production

Since the mid-Nineties, Phil Gladwin had established a career in television as a script editor (including The Bill and Casualty) and a writer (including episodes of Grange Hill, The Bill and Holby City). He and Matthew Bouch, the producer of The Sarah Jane Adventures, had collaborated on an ultimately unmade programme drawing upon the early twentieth-century ghost stories of popular English writer MR James. In mid-2006, Bouch invited Gladwin to contribute ideas for his new show.

Gladwin eventually settled on an idea inspired by the video for Cloudbusting, a single from eclectic British singer Kate Bush's 1985 album Hounds Of Love. Based upon the relationship between psychiatrist and experimentalist Wilhelm Reich and his son Peter, the video -- a collaboration with Monty Python alumnus and Brazil director Terry Gilliam -- depicted father and son's efforts to perfect a rainmaking device prior to the elder Reich's arrest and imprisonment. Gladwin drew upon this for an idea involving a failed inventor and his son, whose work accidentally draws the notice of a lonely alien. The alien kidnaps the inventor, but the son offers to take his father's place.

At one point, Kudlak's plan was to collect schoolchildren for an intergalactic zoo

The Sarah Jane Adventures showrunner Russell T Davies didn't feel that Gladwin's initial ideas were quite right for the programme, and encouraged the writer to take them in new directions. Over time, the inventor vanished from the plot while the son became Lance Metcalf, whose disappearance set the story in motion. The alien developed into Uvlavad Kudlak, whose plan at one point was to collect schoolchildren for an intergalactic zoo. Gladwin also intended a sequence in which the alien is stalked by the Bannerman Road gang through a shopping mall. Late in 2006, Gladwin shelved this storyline altogether and proposed an alternative concept, but was back working on the Kudlak serial by December. Things finally gelled when the laser tag setting was introduced; yet despite all the changes, some echoes of the original Cloudbusting idea survived, most notably in the scene on the hilltop where Sarah Jane and Maria make rain.

By February 2007, Gladwin's serial -- eventually called Warriors Of Kudlak -- was firmly in the schedule as part of the third and final production block of the first season of The Sarah Jane Adventures alongside the finale, The Lost Boy. Before recording began, Phil Ford (who had already written Eye Of The Gorgon and The Lost Boy) performed an uncredited polish of the scripts. It was planned that Warriors Of Kudlak would be third in the broadcast order, preceding Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane? which would be made as Block Two. Charles Martin was assigned to direct; his credits to date included The Giblet Boys and My Life As A Popat (also featuring Maria actress Yasmin Paige and which, later in 2007, would earn him a BAFTA for breakthrough talent in children's entertainment).

The first filming for Warriors Of Kudlak was the scene in Lance's bedroom, at a house on Wood Street in Penarth on June 16th. Martin's team then concentrated on The Lost Boy for several days before returning to Gladwin's adventure on June 26th, with Luke and Clyde chatting at St David's Crescent Park in Penarth. On the 27th and 28th, recording took place at the Evolution nightclub in Cardiff's Red Dragon Centre for material at Combat 3000 in the armoury, transmat area, lobby and side door area, and for Luke and Clyde's arrival on the Uvodni scoutship. Meanwhile, the Combat 3000 arenas were actually located in the former Nippon Electric Glass UK site at Trident Park in Cardiff Bay; the first day of work there was June 29th.

Production for the year wrapped up on July 14th at Upper Boat Studios

Next in the shooting schedule was a day at Upper Boat Studios on July 2nd, for sequences in Sarah Jane's attic. This was followed by two more days at Trident Park, for material in the Combat 3000 control room and Grantham's office. Monster performer Paul Kasey, playing Kudlak, also recorded the appearances of the Mistress and the Emperor there. July 5th was spent in Penarth, first at Larkwood Avenue for the exterior of the Metcalf home, and then at Clinton Road for scenes on Bannerman Road. The 6th saw cast and crew head into Cardiff, where the entrance to Combat 3000 was found on Womanby Street and the arcade was the Black & White Cafe.

The last major location for Warriors Of Kudlak was the Mamhilad Park Industrial Estate in Pontypool, where various scenes in the scoutship were taped from July 9th to 12th. Filming on the 13th began at Grangemoor Park in Cardiff for Sarah Jane and Maria on the hilltop, before continuing with more attic scenes back at Upper Boat. Production for the year then wrapped up with an unusual Saturday recording day on July 14th, once again on the attic set at Upper Boat. There would then be a ten-month break before The Sarah Jane Adventures went before the cameras again.

Sources
  • Doctor Who News.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #23, 24th December 2009, “Episode 1.5/1.6: Warriors Of Kudlak” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.

Original Transmission
Episode 1
Date 15th Oct 2007
Time 5.31pm
Duration 26'48"
Viewers (more) 425k
· CBBC 425k
· BBC1 1.0m
(22nd Oct 2007)
Appreciation 85%
Episode 2
Date 22nd Oct 2007
Time 5.30pm
Duration 28'03"
Viewers (more) 397k
· CBBC 397k
· BBC1 1.2m
(29th Oct 2007)
Appreciation 85%


Cast
Sarah Jane Smith
Elisabeth Sladen
Maria Jackson
Yasmin Paige
Luke
Tommy Knight
(more)
Mr Smith
Alexander Armstrong
Clyde
Daniel Anthony
Mark Grantham
Chook Sibtain
Carrie Metcalf
Sarah Haynes
Lance
Sonny Muslim
Brandon Butler
James Bellamy
Jen
Nadiyah Davis
Cashier
Chrissie Furness
Kudlak / Emperor / Mistress
Paul Kasey
Voice of Kudlak / Emperor
Silas Carson
Voice of Mistress
Tina Greatex


Crew
Written by
Phil Gladwin
Directed by
Charles Martin
Produced by
Matthew Bouch
(more)

Created by
Russell T Davies
1st Assistant Director
Dan Mumford
2nd Assistant Director
Anna Evans
3rd Assistant Director
Frazer Fennell-Ball
Location Manager
Jonathan Allott
Production Co-ordinator
Phillipa Cole
Continuity
Nicki Coles
Script Editor
Lindsey Alford
Focus Puller
Jamie Southcott
Grip
Clive Baldwin
Boom Operator
Bradley Kendrick
Gaffer
Steve Slocombe
Stunt Co-ordinator
Abbi Collins
Chief Supervising Art Director
Stephen Nicholas
Art Dept Production Manager
Jonathan Marquand Allison
Supervising Art Director
Matt North
Standby Art Director
Alexandra Merchant
Standby Props
Nick Murray
Graphics
BBC Wales Graphics
Costume Supervisor
Arabella Rhodes
Casting Associate
Andy Brierley
Assistant Editor
Tim Hodges
Post Production Supervisor
Nerys Davies
Post Production Co-ordinator
Marie Brown
Colourist
Jon Everett
Sound Editor
Jeremy Childs
Dubbing Mixer
Tim Ricketts
Title Music
Murray Gold
Music
Sam Watts
Casting Director
Andy Pryor CDG
Production Executive
Julie Scott
Production Accountant
Dyfed Thomas
Sound Recordist
Brian Milliken
Costume Designer
Stewart Meachem
Make Up Designer
Emma Bailey
Visual Effects
The Mill
Special Effects
Any Effects
Prosthetics
Millennium FX
Editor
Matthew Tabern
Production Designers
Tim Dickel
Edward Thomas
Director of Photography
Rory Taylor
Production Manager
Debbi Slater
Executive Producers for BBC Wales
Phil Collinson
Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner

Updated 14th July 2017